We are proud to announce that The Corporation of Delta gave us final approval for the Southlands project to take shape in South Delta after more than a decade of collaborative community planning.
“It was October 2006 that I held my first public meeting in a tent set up adjacent to the Southlands barn with a vision to plan not just a community but a ‘Community Farm’. There were two dozen residents that volunteered over 2,000 hours of their time to work with us on questions and concerns that would govern any vision to come to reality,” says Sean Hodgins, President at Century Group. “We worked on those issues for over 15 months that culminated in a public design charrette in May 2008 before forming our present day vision.”
Southlands hopes to repair the lowest density suburban pattern at the metropolitan edge by providing a whole new range of housing options. At the moment large, single-family homes dominate the landscape and available townhouses and apartments are limited. The Southlands plan allows multiple options for individuals looking to downsize, more affordable housing options for families and live-work studios for artisans, entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Southlands plan includes some of these components:
- 950 homes with a mix of small cottage clusters, larger cottages, townhomes and apartment-style housing with the intention to build an intergenerational community
- 300-acre community-owned farm that is dedicated towards human scale and traditional farming, and agricultural programs, and 125 acres of land for parks
- Market Square that connects the agricultural activities of the Community Farm with local arts and culture
- Commercial and public spaces such as an amphitheatre and renovation of the signature red barn to encourage community engagement and dialogue
- Protection of wildlife habitat and environmentally sensitive lands, including the entire forested area of the Southlands and a parcel that could allow for the expansion of Boundary Bay Regional Park
- 80 per cent of the total Tsawwassen property given to The Corporation of Delta for use in agriculture, natural habitat, public open space and greenways
“The Southlands development will be an international example of advanced urbanism, tackling in an innovative way issues such as: integrating agriculture with traditional neighbourhood development at the urban edge; advancing organic urban growth containment, and forming valued interrelationships that protect food producing land,” says Bob Ransford, VP Acquisitions and Investments at Century Group.
Southlands will take approximately 15 to 20 years to develop and begins at the Market Square. The first order of action is to build new irrigation and drainage systems such as a water main extension from the Pebble Hill reservoir and construct a new road that connects upper Tsawwassen with Southlands and Boundary Bay.
“Moving Southlands through the political and rezoning process has been an incredible journey that would not have been successful if not for the dedication to an open and inclusive public process. The final result approved by Delta is truly a vision that was created by the residents of Tsawwassen,” says Brad Semke, Project Manager, Development at Century Group.
The result will be a ‘Community Farm’ with improved soils, increased crop options and an extended growing season for those farming it. The community will have the opportunity to own its own farm - to control its destiny, the type of farming and the emphasis on local food production and security.
“My aim will be to make the vision of Southlands come to every possible benefit for current and future residents of the new neighbourhood, the surrounding Tsawwassen community, and the people of Delta,” Hodgins concludes. “Thank you, all of Mayor, Council, Delta staff, and community for the diligence in getting us to Fourth Reading and allowing us to move forward with the vision.”